Nabil Akiki, CEO Development of the FIVE, on creating design spaces that reflect the dual FIVE ethos of fun and functionality.

Tell us about your design journey…

With over two decades of experience in design, development, master planning, project management and construction of diverse and mixed-used developments, I currently hold the position of CEO, FIVE Development and have driven the signature architectural style of FIVE Real Estate Development and FIVE Holdings.

Previously, I have delivered a range of world-class projects including hospitals, commercial, residential and luxury hotels and resorts in the GCC, North Africa, Middle East, and Europe, and have a first-class degree from INBA in Beirut. After finishing top of my class amongst all architecture universities, I received my Master’s in Architecture from the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris – France on a special scholarship and graduated as Mageur De Promotion.

As a founding member of FIVE Holdings and the CEO of FIVE Real Estate Development, I am proud to lead the design, development, and construction management of FIVE’s projects, which have received over 40 regional and three global awards.

My journey with FIVE, from an architectural perspective, began in 2012 ideating, Cappadocia, Villa Pera and Villa Myra; three luxury residential G+4 developments with over 220 luxury residential apartments in Dubai, Jumeirah Village Circle community. Despite a very challenging DCR and tight regulations for that zone, the spaces have been designed to be refreshingly modern, and new and boast organic architecture, integrating lifestyle swimming pools and outdoor furnished terraces into the indoor luxury space of an apartment.

For me, this was the seed of an evolving architectural concept that opened our, and our clients,’ awareness of the added value offered by the outdoor space. The swimming pool and furnished terrace add to the indoor luxury space of an apartment.

The current phase of my journey with FIVE revolves around developing FIVE Zurich. A unique property boasting a brilliantly visual contrast between the historically preserved defined linear calm architecture on the outside of the hotel, surrounded by green calming nature, and the most explosive colourful buzzing interiors catering to vibrant new-age guests.

What are your design inspirations?

Aesthetics are everywhere, in different cultures, different arts, different tastes, and different natures. Being exposed naturally to both eastern and western cultures through my educational and career extended journeys, I am blessed to have the opportunity to contribute to the ever-developing and unique multicultural city of Dubai.

What are your design criteria?

Approaching a new project for me is understanding clients’ values first, such as their culture, lifestyle, interests, concerns, and needs. Then I start living the clients’ and guests’ experiences through my sketches till completion.

How would you describe the incorporation of sustainability into your designs?

Sustainability is at the core of the brand and sustainable architecture is a huge focus for the FIVE Team -with existing and upcoming properties. The brand truly believes that sustainability is a human necessity and aims to be a pioneer and game-changer of sustainable practices amongst competitors worldwide. Stay tuned for some exciting updates in Q4 of 2022.

What are the challenges between a good concept design and a good final executed project and how do you manage them?

There are several challenges that occur in the process of transforming a well-thought-out concept design into a well-executed and completed final project.

Even a brilliant concept could turn into a mediocre final product if the essence of a good design evaporates while going through the operations involved with design drawings, shop drawings, coordination with all different services, construction, quality control etc.

The only way to overcome all these risks involved, and to see a brilliant concept translated into an even better end product, is to watch, monitor, and fully manage every step of the ‘blueprint to result’ journey to enjoy an ultimate product that meets, and exceeds, expectations.